Scripture Reference Philippians 4 : 14-17
14 Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles. 15 Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only;
16 for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid more than once when I was in need. 17 Not that I desire your gifts; what I desire is that more be credited to your account.
Paul writes that it was a good thing that the Philippians shared in Paul’s troubles even though he said he was not in need, vs 13. Why would Paul say this? Have you ever thought about the inherent and god-ordained value you derive from helping others even though they have not expressed to you their need?
Many of us strive to avoid troubles and so Paul’s statement that it was good for the Philippians to share in his troubles might seem counter intuitive. Listen, if God has blessed you with a trouble free life right now it is so that you can help others who God lays upon your heart, 2 Cor. 1: 3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”
When God provides for you He has given you the means and the opportunity to now help others with the help God has given to you. We get it wrong when we hoard the blessings of God in our lives instead of using those blessings to bless others.
Why do we wait for someone to ask for help before we ever consider giving help? God has blessed me many times with unexpected helps that have come from God’s people who have sensed His leading and acted upon His directing to give and I have been blessed by giving help to others in obedience to God’s directing.
A letter in the mail, an email, a call, or a text message suddenly appears from a brother or sister in Christ and you just know that God did that! The apostle Paul wrote in 2 Cor. 9: 6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”
When Paul says that it was good for the people to give he is not thinking of his own benefit but of the fact that through obedience in giving the people were opening themselves up to even greater blessings from God, Phil. 4:17! Like the widow of Zarephath who gave of her little in obedience to God who had said to Elijah, “I have directed a widow there to supply you with food” 1 Kings 17:9, we share in the blessings of God when we choose to share in the troubles of God’s servants!